App to build Korean vocabulary with hanja

Friday, February 03, 2017

I haven't installed this app to try it out but it looks like just my type:



Korean doesn't but also does use hanja, and a knowledge of maybe 100 of them plus the way they work in the language is probably essential for true fluency. A lot of Koreans themselves misunderstand them: I heard one the other day explaining the 문 in 백문불여일견 as 文 instead of 聞 (which still does make sense but is technically incorrect unless you're using 文 on purpose), but they have the benefit of Korean being their mother tongue to make up for it. For an outsider, knowledge of hanja is actually a way to speed up the process of learning and understanding vocabulary, a way to create a sort of internal dictionary of root words that you can access at any time. Learning them is very highly recommended.

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TedX speech in Scots on Scots

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Interesting video here from TedX all in Scots and about Scots. The guy giving the speech is a neuroscientist and talks about how the brain reacts differently to an L1 vs. an L2, even if the two are really close. In this case they are close enough that you should be able to understand most of it, and even more so if you know another Germanic language. Check out 14:32 or so for example where he uses the word Künstler or however it's spelled in Scots.

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Clozemaster is quite addictive

Sunday, November 13, 2016

For the past few weeks I've been playing a lot of Clozemaster, an 8-bit style language learning game that is quite simple yet ends up being quite effective thanks to the new text input mode.

The way the site works is this: it takes all the sentences from Tatoeba.org, matches them up from language to language, and then turns it into a game where you fill in the missing word. Multiple choice is extremely easy and I only use that mode when using it on my phone. Otherwise the text input mode is what I go with all the time.

Now what is interesting about Closemaster is that because of its simplicity it works as good practice for synonyms. Sometimes you'll find yourself in a situation where you know the correct answer is let's say fertig, but the word doesn't quite fit. So then you have to start thinking about synonyms...try out bereit, and then it does fit. I can imagine that for some being marked wrong for entering a perfectly okay word would be irritating, but in practice I find it stretches the mind a bit more if you have to think not just about synonyms but also declensions. So sometimes maybe prêt doesn't fit but prêts or prêtes does. This roughness around the edges is part of what makes the game so appealing for me.

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